Big Island police open attempted murder investigation after 2 critically burned

Big Island police open attempted murder investigation after 2 critically burned

KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Kailua-Kona couple is fighting for their lives after a domestic dispute that led to one setting the other on fire Sunday morning.

The 53-year-old woman and her 55-year-old estranged husband were taken to Kona Community Hospital in critical condition with third-degree burns and then flown to the Intensive Care Unit at Straub Clinic and Hospital on Oahu.

Tasha Kaaihue-Kalua watched her parents go up in flames.

“My parents have been having ongoing relationship problems. My mom went down there to confront my dad who I guess has a new girlfriend," Kaaihue-Kalua said.

Kaaihue-Kalua says her mom found her dad with another woman shortly before 9:00 a.m. in a vehicle parked on the roadside at Kahaluu Beach Park in Kona.

That's when she says her mom started pouring gasoline on the woman's Volkswagen van.

"While she was pouring gas, my dad was telling her, if she's gonna set fire to his girlfriend's van, she would have to burn him too," said Kaaihue-Kalua.

Her father got out of the van and they started fighting, Kaaihue-Kalua said.

“They were struggling and there was gas all over the ground and the car and all over them, she flicked the lighter and they both caught up in flames," she said.

One witness, who called 911 and wants to remain anonymous, says her husband saw one of the victims burning.

"He heard somebody screaming and looks over and 50 to 100 feet away there's someone screaming on Alii Drive engulfed in flames totally on fire," she said.

Kaaihue-Kalua says her dad has burns on 70-percent of his body and her mom has burns on 40-percent of her body.

"Me and my cousin were screaming for help and trying to get the fire down from my mom and trying to put her out with blankets and shirts," Kaaihue-Kalua said.

Kaaihue-Kalua says her parents' conditions have since stabilized but they are still in a medically-induced coma.

"I love both of them and I hope they get through this and I don't wish this on anybody," she said crying.

Police on the Big Island have opened an attempted murder investigation.

Anyone who witnessed the confrontation is asked to call the Hawaii County Police Department's non-emergency line at 935-3311, or contact Detective Levon Stevens at 326-4646.

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